I lasted two weeks before I canceled my weekly farmshare subscription.
This may come as a surprise given my previous statement, but I love the idea of farmshares. What’s not to love about supporting local/regional farmers, sustainably sourced vegetables, and local businesses? What’s not to love about getting a bushel (or half bushel, as it was in my case) of vegetables each week to jazz up my weekly rota of recipes?
A few things, I found out. I probably should’ve taken my cue from my opinion towards clothing subscription boxes or even beauty subscription boxes before I even signed up for a farmshare. Apparently subscription boxes and me just do not mix.
I had intended for my weekly farmshare to mainly replace my weekly trip to the grocery store, which was sporadic at best. I knew that I would still have to go to the grocery store to pick up staples not covered in my farmshare (rice, bread, yogurt, etc) but because I truly am horrible about going to the grocery store regularly, I thought that a farmshare would help resolve that. My grocery store’s produce section also leaves a lot to be desired more than half the time, and I knew the vegetables I got from a farmshare would be top notch. Plus, I was undaunted by the fact that I’d get new-to-me vegetables that I would have to learn how to cook with. It seemed like a straightforward way to up my cooking skills with such challenges, and hopefully would expand my palate (and recipe repertoire).
And, if I spent less of my week and weekends running around with far too many commitments and more time actually in my kitchen, everything that I had intended likely would’ve become reality.
However, that wasn’t the case.
My first farmshare had a great mix of vegetables, with radishes being the only item that I didn’t know what to do with. A quick Google search, however, turned up a braised radishes with shallots and bacon recipe that I wanted to try. Shallots! Bacon! What deliciousness! The rest of the farmshare items were vegetables I cook with regularly, like spinach and onions and mushrooms.
But I forgot that I would be out of my apartment for three days following my farmshare pickup, either out at dinners with friends or at events that included meals. That was a major planning fail on my part, and by the time I found an evening at home where I was able to cook, the radishes had gone squishy and limp.
Luckily, I was able to salvage the rest of the vegetables I received that first week (RIP radishes), although my lack of preplanning gave me my first serious misgivings about whether a not a farmshare was the right decision for me.
The second week, I was able to use everything in my farmshare because I had an unusually quiet week, event-wise. I wanted to ease up on spending money and I also wanted to spend more time reading and writing, plus I didn’t want anything to go to waste from my second box. I took care to cook that week, and while I felt better for it, I knew it was an abnormally quiet week in my usually busy schedule.
And the third week? Well, I realized that I will be gone for a week-long work trip soon and if I didn’t go ahead and cancel my farmshare, I would forget to place a hold on it and I’d get charged for something I wouldn’t even be able to make use of. In addition to this particular work trip, I have a lot of weekends away and small trips planned for the next couple of months. A regularly scheduled weekly farmshare pickup isn’t really compatible for that kind of lifestyle.
Ultimately, if I had done more planning when it came to my farmshare pickup schedule and personal engagements, perhaps it would’ve worked out better. If I wasn’t dividing my time between multiple locations, too, I’m sure that would’ve helped with getting the most out of my farmshare experience. As it was, my farmshare ended up becoming an added stress as I scrambled to figure out how to best incorporate it into a lifestyle that just wasn’t set up for one. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but that’s the truth of it.
Until my weekend farmer’s market reopens in the spring, I’m going to stick with my local grocery store for all of my grocery needs. The produce section may be lacking at times, but at least I will have total control over what vegetables I am bringing into my home, how often I am acquiring them, and making full use out of each and every one.